Sigma 35mm F1.2 Art evaluation: Perfectly impractical
“The Cybertruck of lenses, you’ll buy it just to show off to your friends.”
Aperture de-click change
Virtually no chromatic aberration
Relatively reasonably priced
Severe vignette at f/1.2
The Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art is outstanding. I doubt one can find a greater full-frame 35mm. It’s so spectacular, it raises a query I’ve requested of some comparable lenses up to now.
Does it must be this good?
The lens is a technical marvel and one of many sharpest I’ve seen, with lovely bokeh and successfully no distortion. However, due to its bulk, it’s also probably the most inconvenient 35mm I’ve used.
Sigma isn’t any stranger to delivering the very best quality at any price. I’ve groaned concerning the dimension and weight of just about each Art lens I’ve reviewed, they usually’ve all been optically glorious. But the place different Art lenses have been constructed for DSLRs, this one is a part of Sigma’s new DN lineup, made for (normally) smaller mirrorless cameras.
Sigma is flexing. It is aware of it has one of the best lens, and at $1,500, it undercuts the older and slower 35mm f/1.4 lenses from different main producers. It doesn’t matter that it’s heavy sufficient to anchor a small ship. People will purchase it simply to point out off.
Get prepared for a bag improve
At 5.5 inches lengthy and a diameter of 3.5 inches, the 35mm F1.2 can be enormous on any digicam. Mounted to the diminutive Sigma Fp I had, it’s laughable. This is the one 35mm I’ve shot that I felt ought to have its personal tripod collar. If you propose on changing an current 35mm with it, you may want a much bigger digicam bag.
There are, after all, good causes for that dimension, beginning with the f/1.2 aperture. Full-frame f/1.2s are comparatively uncommon, and this mixture of vibrant aperture and huge sensor may give you a shallow depth of subject that merely isn’t attainable on smaller codecs. But, it additionally isn’t that totally different from the available f/1.4 lenses on the market.
Also contributing to that weight is the frilly optical system. There are 17 components in 12 teams, together with three aspherical components. It’s lots of glass, an extra 4 components over the 35mm F1.4 Art.
Like all Art lenses, that cup is housed in a sturdy, dust- and splash-proof exterior. It feels extremely nicely made. In addition to the standard auto/handbook focus change, the lens barrel has a spotlight lock button and aperture de-click change. The latter is generally geared toward videographers who want to have the ability to easily ramp publicity up or down with out noticeable steps. Given how many individuals shoot each stills and video as of late, it’s a function I want each new lens had.
Further proof of the lens’s hybrid nature are the 11 iris blades, the next depend than most nonetheless picture lenses, however par for the course for cinema. Those additional blades imply the aperture stays practically completely round when stopped down, resulting in rounder, extra pure blur.
This is a mirrorless-only lens, obtainable in both L mount or Sony E mount. Canon and Nikon shooters have lengthy been Sigma’s bread and butter, however they look like left within the chilly right here. Not solely is it bodily inconceivable to make this lens work on a DSLR’s longer flange-back distance, however Sigma has proven no real interest in making RF or Z-mount variations for Canon’s and Nikon’s mirrorless techniques, respectively.
It doesn’t get sharper than this
The most decision of an imaging system is an element of three issues. Sensor, lens, and method. Sigma says the 35mm F1.2 can resolve “over 50 million pixels,” which suggests it’s focusing on cameras just like the 47-megapixel Panasonic Lumix S1R and 61MP Sony A7R IV, the 2 highest-resolution cameras in L mount and E mount, respectively.
Mine was mounted to the 24MP Sigma Fp. And all I can say is, wow. It’s insanely sharp. Three aspherical components imply chromatic aberration simply isn’t there, though larger pixel counts might probably reveal some. I do know, rationally, that I don’t want a 61MP digicam. Yet I nonetheless wish to see what this will do on an A7R IV with a sturdy tripod.
Wide open, real-world sharpness is great, though it nonetheless improves as you cease down. Peak sharpness arrives by f/2.8, however there’s little real-world distinction between that and f/1.2. That’s spectacular.
Maximizing sharpness comes all the way down to method. This is a tough lens to carry as a result of weight, so a quick shutter pace would be the distinction between excellence and mediocrity. And whereas the temptation to shoot at f/1.2 is tough to withstand, you’ll see extra sharpness in the event you cease down, even simply to f/2, due to the additional depth of subject.
Sharpness isn’t every little thing, nonetheless. With glorious optics and the 11-bladed iris, you get a number of the softest and most nice bokeh I’ve ever seen, actually for a wide-angle. You can management the form of the bokeh utilizing the aperture, with f/1.2 giving a dreamy, swirly look, whereas f/2 yields a flatter, much less distracting, sample.
I do have a grievance. Wide open, vignetting is unhealthy. It’s not essentially an unattractive look, particularly for portraiture, however it does imply mild transmission isn’t that nice at f/1.2. If you you have been trying to eke out all attainable low mild efficiency, you may be disenchanted. Only the very heart of the picture advantages from elevated brightness.
Even a 1/3-stop adjustment to f/1.4 helps clear up the vignette, however it does depart me questioning if we actually want f/1.2 to start with. The depth of subject distinction merely isn’t noticeable, and if transmission isn’t that significantly better, what’s the purpose?
Vignette at f/1.2
Vignette at f/1.8
But if utilizing that a lot glass and beginning at f/1.2 is what was required to get perfection at f/2 and past, then so be it. You nonetheless received’t discover a higher 35mm.
I can’t fault a lens for being too good, however the Sigma 35mm F1.2 Art is the Tesla Cybertruck of lenses. It has all of the efficiency you would need, however it’s actually about bragging rights. An f/1.2 aperture isn’t one thing anybody wants. It’s a label that makes you’re feeling particular.
Still, that is the results of Sigma doing every little thing it might to make the absolute best lens. And it succeeded. It received’t be for everybody, and that’s OK. If you need one of the best at any price, otherwise you simply wish to showcase, it’s positively for you.
Are there higher alternate options?
No. However, in the event you don’t shoot an L-mount or E-mount digicam, then the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG Art or Tamron 35mm f/1.4 Di are good alternate options. These can be found in Canon EF or Nikon F mount, which might then be tailored to Canon’s and Nikon’s mirrorless techniques.
How lengthy will it final?
Built to resolve the highest-resolution sensors, you need to get years of use out of it. Like any good lens, it should outlast the lifetime of your digicam.
Should you purchase it?
Yes, in the event you personal an L-mount or E-mount digicam and need one of the best 35mm cash should purchase.